Training Notes: April 23, 2014
On a windy Wednesday afternoon, United took the field ahead of its upcoming match against Western Conference leaders, FC Dallas. While some of the guys stayed inside for a gym workout, the rest of the team started with the usual 5 vs. 2 keep away to get loose. After a quick warm-up and stretch, the guys were broken into two teams of six for a larger game of possession with two neutral players. The objective: seven consecutive passes for a goal, get the competitive juices flowing and get ready for Saturday with a lot of touches in a short time.
Once the keepers were warmed up, they transitioned to a game of offense vs. defense, with five attacking players to the four defenders. On one side, Eddie Johnson was the target man, and on the other was Michael Seaton. The keeper would throw the ball to the target players who had to hold off a defender and lay the ball off to a midfielder before they could attack. What ensued were lots of close range shots, big saves and great goals. Alex Caskey and Jared Jeffrey both had terrific strikes from distance, while Seaton found the back of the net several times from crosses near the goal.
After a much deserved water break, the field was set up for a game of 8 v. 8 to goal with Bill Hamid in one net and Andrew Dykstra in the other. Both teams had great movement and quick passing which led to several shots on target, but both keepers were up to the challenge. Luis Silva and Johnson combined for some nice plays for the red team, while Conor Doyle and Caskey were getting in to attack for the green side.
The team finished the day with a shooting drill on all three keepers. Eight guys lined up on either side of the field and would serve a driven ball to two players in a zone outside of the box. One player would lay the ball off and the other would take a hit on target, rapid fire. It was a quick paced game with lots of shots, and some superb goals. Kyle Porter earned praise for a few of his strikes on target, while Hamid, Dykstra and Joe Willis denied what looked like sure goals.